Campbell selected for homecoming court

Published 10:39 pm Friday, September 2, 2016

Georgiana eighth grader Sophia Campbell isn’t like most students her age.

Sophie, as she is affectionately called, towers over her fellow classmates with her 6-feet, 220-pound frame due to an incredibly rare condition known as Sotos syndrome.

The disorder, which only manifests in 1 out of every 14,000 children, often causes excessive growth from an early age, and it’s sometimes accompanied by both physical and intellectual disabilities.

But Campbell was just recently gifted a slice of normalcy that nearly every high school girl has dreamed of at one point or another—a reserved spot on the field for this year’s homecoming.

Campbell was elected as her class’s homecoming court to thunderous applause during a recent Georgiana pep rally.

Campbell’s mother, Sarah Miller, said that the idea originated at school among her peers.

“I talked to her teacher, Mrs. Jackson, and she said that it was really the students’ idea,” Miller said.

“They expressed the desire to vote for her, so it was really the students who actually got it started.”

The struggle to fit in has proven difficult for Campbell and her mother throughout her scholastic career, and the onset of adolescence adds new challenges each day. She’s asked about driving lessons due to many of her friends beginning driver’s ed classes, but with Sotos syndrome affecting even basic motor skills, it could prove an insurmountable hurdle.

But overcoming hurdles comes quite naturally to Campbell, no matter how big or small.

“She still hasn’t learned to write her whole name,” Miller said. “She writes S-O-P, and if you point to one of the letters and ask her what it is, she can’t tell you.   But recently, she came in and she was playing waitress, and she asked to take my order, and I gave it to her.  A little while later, she said ‘here’s your bill,’ and it had T-E-N on it, and I was just amazed.

“At 13, I once thought ‘OK, this is what it is and she’s never going to read or write.’ And then she comes in and writes the number 10, and means it to be a number, and that was just a really big deal for me.  You know that the people at school are really working with her.”

But being named a homecoming court dwarfs many of her most recent achievements, and Miller added that it’s an accomplishment that bears fruit on a daily basis.

“She’s super-excited,” Miller said. “She reminds me every day that I need to curl her hair, because I guess Mrs. Jackson told her that she’d need to wear a dress and curl her hair.”

But finding suitable homecoming attire for Campbell will prove challenging in and of itself.

“I’ve ordered her a couple on the internet from a plus-sized website, and it’ll probably be trial and error,” Miller said.  “And we always buy men’s shoes for her feet, so it’s scary to think that I’ve got less than a month to figure it out.  She may be bare-footed, bless her heart.”

Now that the Georgiana eighth grade class has empowered Campbell with their vote, her nomination has caused a stir within the student body that may manifest in one of the most memorable homecoming experiences in the school’s recent history.

“Mrs. Jackson told me that there were only a few pre-planned homecoming posters up,” Miller said. “But when I sent Sophie’s to school—I’m not very artistic, so I did them on the computer and printed them out—everybody started going out and putting up better posters for Sophie everywhere, and people just seem to be way more into the homecoming spirit this year.  And we think it’s because of Sophie.”

Campbell will take the field for homecoming at Georgiana School on Sept. 23.